Research Topics

‌Microelectronics Winter Camp 2019


During Microelectronics Winter Camp 2019, participants actively led on a research project which focused on key areas of microelectronics research and which was mentored by leading scholars and experts. After a week of learning as a group at the Microelectronics Winter Camp, participants then moved to smaller groups and worked with one of 4 professors at KAUST. Students were matched with professors based on their own interests and expertise. 

‌The broad research topics in Microelectronics Winter Camp 2019 for each professor are outlined below:

Professor Muhammad Mustafa Hussain

In MMH Labs, we innovate futuristic electronics that can bridge a variety of disciplines and enable new applications to augment the quality of our life. To do so, we identify areas that have so far been untapped due to their ingenuity or their difficulty. We think like users to prepare our wish list for an electronics gadget/widget which can serve the purpose of enhanced convenience, safety, and efficiency. Next, we carefully study the scientific advances to identify the fundamental challenges to materialize the wish list. Then we categorically address each of these challenges to provide simplistic engineering solutions. This methodical exercise allows us to conceptualize, design, develop, optimize futuristic electronics that are CMOS based, physically compliant or multi-dimensional and technologically standalone, lightweight, multi-sensory, and with equipped with high-performance data analytical ability and seamless communication capacity. 

An example project based on the aforementioned methodology is described in this YouTube video:


Professor Atif Shamim

Transparent and Flexible Microwave Absorbers for Protecting Newborns from Wireless Radiation

Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMF) are all around us due to the use of various wireless devices like mobile phones, WiFI router, microwave ovens, etc. Extensive exposure to EMF can be harmful to health, as studies have shown increased chances of cancer due to long EMF exposures. Increased use of wireless communication devices in hospitals exposes newborns in incubators to continuous EMF radiation. To protect them from potentially harmful EMF radiation during their stay in the hospital, this project aims to design transparent microwave absorbers comprising Frequency Selective Surface (FSS) that can be printed on thin flexible sheets. These sheets can cover the incubator to block the harmful EMF radiation without affecting the visibility of the child. Transparent Silver nanowires based ink will be used on transparent sheets to realize these absorbers. The students will be trained in the following three aspects.1.  EM Simulations: They will be trained on industry-standard EM simulators (CST and HFSS) for designing the FSS structures specifically aimed for the GSM band.

  • EM Simulations: They will be trained on industry-standard EM simulators (CST and HFSS) for designing the FSS structures specifically aimed for the GSM band.
  • Printing: They will be trained in inkjet and screen printing of electronics for fabricating the designed FSS structure.
  • Measurements: They will be trained to use state of the art technology for measuring the performance of the built structure, this includes anechoic chamber and vector network analyzers, etc. 

Professor Khaled Salama

Diagnostics become more important in third world countries as people have limited access to medical care systems and have less awareness of healthy lifestyles. There is certainly a need for on-site detection in the life science fields, and for point-of-care diagnostics in rural areas of underdeveloped countries so that even an unskilled person can use the device to determine the presence of disease-causing markers. Currently, diagnostics commonly employ long assay time, trained personnel, sophisticated instruments, and require financial support. A good approach to overcome this current situation would be the use of flexible and paper-based point-of-care devices to detect specific biomarkers. Biomarkers provide insight into normal biological processes, pathogenic processes, and pharmacological therapeutic interventions. Hence, the development of more compatible, reliable, convenient, simple, easy-to-use systems would be of great use to a person less skilled in medical diagnostic procedures.  

Professor Hossein Fariborzi

The students will design a Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN), consisting mainly of a carefully designed array of pressure sensors, accelerometers, haptic feedback (mini vibrators), etc. We will focus on implementing one or two specific applications, some examples are: Body posture correction, seamless communication, game console control, seizure/fall detection, sports (individual and team activity analysis), performance arts/orchestra/theater (coordination and communication), pedestrian/blind/elderly navigation.P

Professor Shehab Ahmed

Omnidirectional IPT System for AUV

The Mechatronics & Energy Systems Research Group (MERGE) conducts applied research in the fields of mechatronics, electromechanical, and power conversion to address challenges in energy systems. Wireless power transfer (WPT) is one of the topics that MERGE researchers are engaged in. WPT can be achieved by several techniques that might be classified based on the distance between the transmitter and receiver. Inductive power transfer (IPT) is the main technique used nowadays for mid-range and near field power transmission, where the transmission distance can vary between a few meters to few centimeters. IPT has been proposed/used in many applications so far, such as mobile phones, drones, and electric vehicles (EV).

The Autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) is a robot submarine that travels underwater without a human on board. AUVs can be used in several useful ways, such as research, air crash investigations, O&G applications, and military application. AUVs depend mainly on batteries for power supply, so every AUV must be pulled up from the water after a period for recharging, which is a time and effort consuming process.

The students from the KAUST Microelectronics Winter camp will be assigned to develop an omnidirectional IPT system to charge AUVs in situ and will thus learn how to:

  • Design and analyze omnidirectional IPT systems.

  • Use ANSYS Maxwell and ANSYS Simplorer to model and simulate the system.

  • Build IPT coils and measure their features by using the lab equipment.

  • Build an omnidirectional IPT system and verify the simulation results experimentally.